Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become the face of urban transportation. Uber has transformed the rideshare culture by providing affordable and convenient means of transport other than taxis. However, as more and more rideshare services become available, safety and liability issues become more complex. This blog focuses on one aspect of this challenge, Uber-pedestrian accidents.
What Are the Causes of Uber-Pedestrian Accidents?
Everyday scenarios ranging from pedestrians crossing streets to sudden stops and starts of vehicles are situations that should be understood. Such incidences often result from distracted driving, failure to yield, and pedestrians being distracted while walking. Here is a list of scenarios that can cause Uber-pedestrian accidents:
- Crosswalk Collisions: An Uber driver who fails to yield strikes a pedestrian crossing legally in a designated crosswalk.
- Distracted Driving Incidents: A pedestrian collides with an Uber driver not paying attention to him/her due to another cause or distraction, such as their phone.
- Sudden Stops or Starts: A pedestrian is hit by an Uber car when the driver applies sudden braking or acceleration.
- Intersection Accidents: The Uber driver fails to obey traffic signals or signals late when pedestrians cross an intersection.
- Pickup or Drop-off Zones: The sudden movements of vehicles in a small space can lead to an Uber driver running over people that are walking near the Uber pickup or drop-off zones
- Turning Vehicle Incidents: An Uber driver may collide with another car or vehicle when making a turn without observing or yielding to pedestrians on the sidewalk.
- Nighttime Visibility Issues: Pedestrian crash rates with Uber might rise at night when visibility is low, and drivers may struggle to identify pedestrians.
- Jaywalking Accidents: Uber vehicles may crash or collide with pedestrians crossing the streets outside the crosswalk.
- Right-of-Way Violations: Accidents happen as a result of such Uber drivers failing to yield such right-of-way to pedestrians.
- Impaired Driving Incidents: An Uber driver’s ability to respond and make turns around pedestrians can be compromised when they are drunk, thus creating more accidents.
- Vehicle Maintenance Issues: If an Uber driver fails to ensure proper vehicle maintenance, pedestrians will be at risk due to brake failures or other mechanical issues.
Severe injuries can occur from Uber-pedestrian accidents depending on factors such as the speed of the vehicles and the point of impact.
What is Uber’s Duty of Care and Commitment to Safety?
Uber – as one of the largest rideshare providers, is charged with a very important responsibility towards its passengers and pedestrians sharing the environment. Uber has a duty of care to which they are committed to guaranteeing the safety and good health of all the people involved with the company.
Uber details the specific safety features and policies to fulfill this duty, such as:
- Driver Background Checks
- Vehicle Inspections
- In-app Safety Tools
- Driver Ratings and Feedback
- Zero-Tolerance Policy for Drugs and Alchohol
- Insurance Coverage
- Community Guidelines
- Safety Education Initiatives
- Driver Training Programs
- 24/7 Support
- Real-Time Incident Response
This implies that passengers will be driven in suitable, trained, and responsible motor vehicles and that Uber does everything to ensure their passengers are safe.
Who is Liable in an Uber-Pedestrian Accident?
Liability in an Uber-pedestrian accident is based on the actions and responsibilities of the driver and the pedestrian. In terms of driver liability in an accident, cases usually revolve around Uber driver negligence like distraction, not giving way, as well as speeding. Uber drivers could be found liable in cases where they did not observe traffic signals, drove recklessly, or failed to exercise due care that caused the accident.
Conversely, the liability of a pedestrian is gauged on issues like jay-walking, distracted walking, or failing to obey traffic lights. Factors that might contribute in cases where pedestrians were partially or fully liable include crossing streets away from designated crosswalks, or other behaviors that compromised their safety. Establishing liability in these Uber-pedestrian accidents is very detailed and entails analyzing the exact scenario and actions that occurred. It’s important to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene and to consult with an Edmonds car accident lawyer for guidance.
Does Uber Have Insurance Coverage For Riders?
Yes, Uber’s insurance coverage plays a pivotal role in addressing the complexities of pedestrian accidents involving its vehicles. In the event of such incidents, Uber provides insurance coverage that extends to protect not only its drivers but also pedestrians who may be injured. This coverage encompasses various stages of a trip, from the moment a driver accepts a ride request to the completion of the trip.
However, the interaction between Uber’s insurance and the driver’s personal insurance is a nuanced aspect. While Uber’s coverage is designed to be primary, the driver’s personal insurance may come into play during certain phases of the trip, depending on local regulations and specific circumstances. Understanding these interactions and the coverage limits is crucial for all parties involved, ensuring that adequate compensation is available in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident involving an Uber vehicle.